Blazing a Trail: Cannabis Travel Trends

Emilie Harris  |  July 6th, 2021

The “CannaPass” and the era of Cannabis Travel has officially arrived! In late July the world’s first ever Digital Cannabis Passport will go LIVE. Created by Visit Modesto and earning the title of “MoTown CannaPass”, this custom, visitation passport is designed to attract the high value, active leisure cannabis travel audience. The MoTown CannaPass will educate and promote visitor safety and is also available to Modesto residents.

The MoTown CannaPass is built on the Bandwango DXE platform and curated by Cultivar Strategies. The MoTown CannaPass includes important information about local merchant and restaurant offers to match cannabis Effect Pairings™ and includes 17 paired sensory experiences. Cookies Modesto cannabis shop serves as the registration, swag bag pick up and the jump-off point for the curated cannabis experiences.

Effect Pairing™ cannabis is the art of intentionally selecting and consuming a cannabis cultivar or product, in an effort to optimally enhance an activity or experience. The Effect Pairing method™ involves targeted sensory enhancement paired with set and setting.

Effect Pairings include:

  • an uplifting outdoor energetic vibe paired with disc golf in the park.

  • super-charged visuals and a thought-provoking mindset paired with the arts.

  • a ferocious appetite and flavor-enhanced palette paired with a local culinary experience.

The MoTown CannaPass represents an exciting step forward for Cannabis tourism. Keep your eyes peeled for the passport, expected to launch July 24th!

This type of travel is still relatively young, so to get the scoop on how it works, what the future looks like and more, we asked the experts at Cultivar Strategies some questions! Find out more about Cultivar Strategies here.

Can you explain Cultivar’s mission?

Cultivar Strategies provides strategy and solutions for Destinations seeking to capitalize on the cannabis travel trend. Utilizing proprietary data and insights, a set of education, risk mitigation and tactical tool kits, unique methodologies, market curation, content and partnership, we build a cannabis travel network for our destination partners and stakeholders.

How did the cannabis landscape evolve during the pandemic?

During COVID, cannabis earned an “Essential” designation and that opened a lot of minds, as it reminded us of the medicinal qualities and roots of cannabis history. There is no doubt that destinations are rapidly adopting cannabis as a recovery tactic, as well as an opportunity to differentiate their offering.

How do you think cannabis will impact tourism in the future?

The real answer to that question lies in the unique properties in the Cannabis plant itself. Cannabis has multiple varietals (or cultivars) and its chemical makeup of different cannabinoids, terpenes, product types, applications and ingestion methods – altogether provide a wellness-driven interaction with the mind, body and spirit.

Cannabis is relevant across all aspects of the travel and tourism experience. Cannabis is targeted, sensory enhancement for outdoor adventure, culinary, arts and culture, intimacy, wellness and spirituality.

Additionally, the travel industry leads the way in sustainability. Industrial hemp products will elevate the sustainability message and efforts as a renewable resource.

What advice would you give a DMO hoping to explore cannabis tourism?

View cannabis as an enhancement tool for your already existing attractions, hotels, restaurants and cultural sites.

Additionally, think beyond cannabis as a pop culture trend and consider all the different inputs. For instance, there is a lot of power in hemp as a renewable resource.

Engage in the conversation at the entry point you are most comfortable with and where your stakeholder sentiment lies.

What’s the biggest preconceived notion you want to dispel about cannabis?

Cannabis is part of a culture of undesirables and all the stereotypes that go along with that. Cannabis is you and me, all ages, ethnicities, and cultural leanings.

What does the cannabis traveler want to do, and how do they differ from a DMO’s usual “customer segments”?

The cannabis traveler falls into three major categories:

  1. Connoisseur – For the cannabis “connoisseur” it’s about flow state and journeying, enjoyment of set and setting and all the activities of choice at a destination.

  2. Canna-curious – For the canna-curious traveler, a safe and vetted environment is desired. They are likely to seek out unique and educational-focused experiences to learn more about cannabis micro dosing to promote wellness.

  3. For the non-THC types – CBD, hemp topicals and ancillary products open a wide range of wellness enhancements that support a growing travel trend.

What is the biggest opportunity you see for DMOs to leverage cannabis interested audiences?

The smart DMO will take a strong leadership position with their stakeholders and create a cannabis travel network, rich with content, partnership opportunities, smart educational tools and digital and promotional tools to spread the spend of this lucrative travel segment.

Embrace the local cannabis stakeholders (dispensaries, brands, lounges, pioneers and stories) and bring them into the hospitality ecosystem.

Interested in launching your own CannaPass, or working with Cultivar Strategies to get your stakeholders on board with this idea? Reach out to [email protected] or your Client Success Manager to start!